Born April 14th 1957
(which was a very good year), Nathaniel and Wealthy Howard said hello to his
seventh child and her first (Iíll let you figure that one out). A 7Ĺ-pound
bundle of trouble, I came here running. After me, Mom and Dad had three more
boys, for a total of ten kids, eight boys and two girls. To this day, I still
wonder how Mom and Dad kept their sanity.
I grew up in Buena Vista
Township, a part of Saginaw County in Michigan. We lived in (loosely) what was
called the country. My Dad was from Georgia and Mom was from Mississippi, so we
had to have a big garden to help feed us all. Our community was very close.
Everyone within six blocks knew everyone else. We played neighborhood baseball
games, and the best of us played against some of the city league teams. I think
we were called the ď26th Street GangstersĒ because thatís where a
majority of us lived.
In 1968 my Dad began pastoring a
small mission in Bay City. He bought a beautiful Gibson guitar and thought he
would learn to play it. That wasnít to be the case however, since his schedule
was so busy. I asked if I could play, and he said OK. I picked it up and began
to teach myself to play. After a while, I got halfway decent at it. My brother
Mark played drums, and when ďStan the ManĒ (my youngest brother) became old
enough, I taught him all I knew. It was difficult, because he is left-handed. He
was a quick learner and soon exceeded my ability, eventually earning a full
scholarship to ORU for music. As teenagers we used to have great ďjam sessions,Ē
and people from all over the neighborhood would come and listen to us play
original music. We would play for hours, and eventually we became so attuned to
each other that we could make changes in our music while playing without any
verbal or physical signs to do so. We just knew. I eventually began to play the
piano as well and became mediocre at best, but I still enjoy plunking away on
those keys. Those were the days.
I married my high school
sweetheart Diane in 1977. We were both 19 and just kids who thought love would
solve all of our problems. We quickly learned money helped a lot too. We have
three children: David, Brian, and Jessica whom we love very much. Dave and Brian
are now in college, and Jessica is in high school.
I decided to leave fast food
managing in 1980 and went back to school to become a Respiratory Therapist.
Completing my degree in 1986, I started working at my current place of
employment, where Greg and I met. We quickly became best friends, and he had the
audacity to invite me to help him with some songs with a respiratory bent. When
we started I never had any idea it would become over 16 songs with original
lyrics. Weíve had great fun doing them, but Iím sure we wonít win any Grammy
awards (actually Iím absolutely sure we wonít), but it is our hope youíll get a
good laugh out of some of them. We are by no means professional singers or
musicians, but Greg is a darned good lyricist.
Currently Iíve taken over as
Senior Pastor of Holy Mission Ministries Church, of which Iím very proud. My Dad
founded it and Iím very happy he has entrusted it to me. My life is busier than
ever, but I donít think Iíve ever been more fulfilled, or assured that this is
what I was meant to be and do.
We hope you enjoy these songs
as much as we did putting them together. Take all mistakes for the fact that we
were working outside of our field.